Arkansas Tech used a familiar formula --- turnover margin and a big second half from Johnie Davis --- to overcome a 12-point deficit and defeat the Southern Arkansas Muleriders 68-47 in Gulf South Conference men's basketball at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday.
The nationally 15th-ranked Wonder Boys (17-3 overall, 8-0 GSC) finished with a plus-14 turnover margin, an effort that fueled their 11th consecutive win and kept them in sole possession of first place in the GSC West Division.
Arkansas Tech used a 10-0 run over a span of 2:08 to open a 54-42 lead at the 8:24 mark of the second half.
James Giles sparked the run by hitting a jump shot with 10:32 left. Davis took it from there, scoring eight consecutive points to put Arkansas Tech in front by 12.
It was the exact opposite of the 12-point deficit the Wonder Boys faced with 2:52 left in the first half. Beginning at the 7:59 mark of the first half, Tech went 4:43 without a point. That allowed SAU's lead to swell to 32-20.
The Wonder Boys started their comeback by scoring the final six points of the first half --- four on free throws by Jared Williamson and the final two on a jump shot by James Causey.
Davis hit a 3-pointer to put Arkansas Tech in front 37-34 with 16:15 remaining in the game. The Wonder Boys never trailed again, thanks in large part to their defense.
Tech held SAU to 5-of-16 (31 percent) shooting from the field in the second half after the Muleriders hit 13-of-21 (62 percent) from the field before halftime.
Davis scored 16 of his game-high 21 points for the Wonder Boys in the second half. Williamson finished with 15 points, while Causey had 11 points and six rebounds.
Channin Harden led Southern Arkansas (9-11, 1-7) with 19 points, but he scored just four points after halftime.
The Wonder Boys will welcome Christian Brothers to Tucker Coliseum in further GSC action on Thursday, Feb. 10. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Tickets will be available at the door. Those with a valid Tech identification card will be admitted free.]]>